The Chicago White Sox (6-2) defeated the Tampa Bay Rays (4-5) 3-2 on Saturday afternoon in Chicago. It was the fourth consecutive loss for the Rays, and gives the White Sox a series win in the three game series.
The Rays did score first in this game, thanks to a Harold Ramirez sacrifice fly in the first inning to make it 1-0.
The White Sox got their first runs in the game in the fourth inning. Moments after a throwing error by pitcher Corey Kluber on a pickoff attempt, Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer to make it 2-1 Chicago.
In spite of Kluber's error, he was mostly effective in his second start, allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out four and walking none in five innings of work.
Tampa Bay tied the game with an RBI single from Manuel Margot in the top of the sixth, before the Rays again made a key mistake in the bottom of the frame. After Luis Robert reached on a fielding error by Rays shortstop Taylor Walls, he was able to steal second base. He then advanced to third on a fly out from Jose Abreu before Yasmani Grandal singled him in to give Chicago a 3-2 lead.
The Rays attempted to make a comeback in the ninth inning, but yet another mistake proved costly. After Harold Ramirez singled to start the frame, Kevin Kiermaier came in to pinch run. He advanced to second on a wild pitch from Chicago closer Liam Hendriks, before running into an out when Yandy Diaz hit a ball to the left side of the infield that was ruled a fielders choice. Brett Phillips then singled and, with Ji-Man Choi batting, stole second base. Chicago then intentionally walked Choi before before Taylor Walls struck out swinging to end the game.
Ryan Thompson (0-1, 0.00) was the losing pitcher for the Rays in spite of not allowing an earned run. Michael Kopech went five innings for Chicago in which he allowed one unearned run, before giving way to Reynaldo Lopez (2-0, 4.91) who picked up the win. Liam Hendriks picked up his fourth save of the season after closing the door on the Rays in the ninth inning.
Off the field, the Rays did make a move on Saturday, trading cash considerations for righthanded pitcher Javy Guerra. He is expected to join the Rays bullpen in Chicago.
The Rays will now look to avoid being swept by the White Sox on Sunday. J.P. Feyereisen will be the Rays opener on Sunday, with Tommy Romero expected to get most of the bulk work. The White Sox are expected to send Vince Velasquez to the mound. First pitch on Sunday is scheduled for 2:10 PM - pregame coverage begins with Neil Solondz hosting This Week In Rays Baseball on 95.3 WDAE & AM 620.
PHOTO COURTESY GETTY IMAGES